The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
Kentucky Sports Radio, Weekdays, 9-11a
Kentucky Sports Radio, Weekdays, 9-11a
Kentucky Sports Radio, Weekdays, 9-11a
Thanks Jeff, for the last 5 years!
Thanks Jeff, for the last 5 years!
Thanks Jeff, for the last 5 years!
The Dan Patrick Show, Weekdays 11a-2p
The Dan Patrick Show,  Weekdays 11a-2p
The Dan Patrick Show,  Weekdays 11a-2p
Jon Lester pitched six innings to win for the first time in just over a month and Ian Happ homered as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on Thursday night.

Lester (13-5) allowed five hits, struck out eight and had no walks while improving to 3-1 against the Pirates this season. His previous victory came July 15 at San Diego and he had gone 0-3 with a 10.32 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

Steve Cishek, Carl Edwards Jr. and Pedro Strop each pitched one inning to complete the six-hitter. Strop hit David Freese with a pitch with two outs in the ninth but converted his 10th save in 13 opportunities.

Happ connected with one out in the fourth inning off Ivan Nova (7-7) for his 13th home run, a drive deep into the right-center seats that was the game's only extra-base hit. There was a fair share of cheers while Happ rounded the bases as he is from suburban Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Chicago (70-50) increased its lead in the NL Central to 3½ games over idle Milwaukee while moving a season-high 20 games over .500. Pittsburgh (61-61) lost its fourth straight to fall to .500.

Nova took his first loss since July 3 despite giving up only one run in 6 2/3 innings. The Pirates had won five of his six previous starts and he was 3-0 in that span.

The Pirates' best scoring opportunity came in the fifth inning when Josh Harrison and Adeiny Hechavarria hit consecutive two-out singles. Lester then struck out Nova, an .044 career hitter.

The Cubs had runners in scoring position in the third and seventh innings but failed to convert.

Chicago's Jason Heyward had two hits.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis/right shoulder impingement) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with a minor league team to be determined. Signed to a $126-million, six-year contract as a free agent in February, Darvish last pitched for the Cubs on May 20 and is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts.

Pirates: SS Jordy Mercer (strained left calf) was placed on the 10-day disabled list after being injured Wednesday during a loss at Minnesota. Hechavarria started in his place and went 2 for 2. ... RHP Nick Burdi (Tommy John elbow surgery) had his rehab transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona on Tuesday and allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

HELLO, NEWMAN

Shortstop Kevin Newman, the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2015, made his major league debut when he entered on defense in the ninth inning after Hechavarria was removed for a pinch-hitter.

The Pirates purchased Newman's contract from Indianapolis before the game and recalled OF Jordan Luplow from the same club while catcher Jacob Stallings was optioned there. Right-hander Casey Sadler was designated for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for Newman.

UP NEXT

Cubs: LHP Cole Hamels (7-9, 4.22 ERA) makes his fourth start Friday night since being acquired from Texas in a trade. He is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA for the Cubs.

Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (10-8, 3.66) has been the starter in seven of Pittsburgh's 13 shutouts this season.

Here are Thursday night's high school sports scores featuring local teams.

Boys Soccer

Marshall County 7, Mayfield 0
UHA 10, Ballard Memorial 0
Calloway County 4, McCracken County 1
Hopkinsville 5, Murray 1

Girls Soccer

McCracken County 5, Murray 2
Marshall County 10, Mayfield 0
Calloway County 10, Trigg County 0
Graves County 10, St. Mary 0

Volleyball

Calloway County 3, Fulton County 0 (25-9, 25-7, 25-8)
Fulton City 3, Lake County, TN 0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-10)
Caldwell County 3, Webster County 0 (25-6, 25-14, 25-7)

Boys Golf

Mayfield (155) - Husten Lancaster 36, Andrew Watson 37, Garrett Seay 37, Kesean Galbreath 45
Paducah Tilghman (193) - AJ Armstrong 42, Sammy Lambert 45, Michael Sanders 50, Aidan Hahn 56
Ketchum Home School (NTS) - Austin Ketchum 41

Girls Golf
Emily Green (Mayfield) def. Sloane Edwards (Paducah Tilghman) 3 & 2
Brandt Snedeker predicted low scores at the Wyndham Championship — but not this low.

Snedeker shot an 11-under 59 on Thursday, falling one shot shy of matching the PGA Tour record.

He made a 20-foot putt on his final hole to become the 10th player in tour history to break 60. Jim Furyk set the record with a 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship in 2016.

"I better be smiling," Snedeker said. "I don't do this every day."

This is the third consecutive year the PGA Tour has had a sub-60 round. Snedeker is the first to shoot 59 since Adam Hadwin in the third round of the 2017 Careerbuilder Challenge.

Snedeker — who said a day earlier that the tournament would turn into a "birdie-fest" — began his round at par-70 Sedgefield Country Club with a bogey at No. 10, and he took off from there. He played the front nine in 27, including an eagle 2 on the par-4 sixth hole when he holed out from 176 yards.

After that shot, Snedeker said a 59 felt like a real possibility. He remembered a non-tour event he played in China in which he was one putt from that score, but those thoughts "got in the way.

"To know what you're trying to do and step up and have a 20-footer (on the final hole) and know what it means, I was very aware of what was going on, and to knock that putt in was really special," Snedeker said. "To know I'm a part of a small club on tour and not very many people have done this, really cool feeling right now."

Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, won the Wyndham in 2007. He broke Si Woo Kim's 2-year-old Wyndham record of 60 and had the best opening round in this event's history. Arjun Atwal had a 61 in 2010.

It's been a somewhat frustrating, turbulent year for Snedeker. He has three top-10 finishes and two missed cuts in his last seven events and has not won on tour since 2016. During his first 16 tournaments of the season, he finished in the top 10 just once.

"Nobody could see this coming — trust me," Snedeker said. "As much as I tried to positive self-talk myself into playing good, I didn't see 59 coming today, to be honest with you. ... Luckily, it kind of clicked all day today, and hopefully it will keep clicking for the next three days."

At No. 80 on the points list entering the final event of the tour's regular season, he's nowhere near the playoff bubble and his spot at The Northern Trust next week in New Jersey seems safe. But that ranking is his lowest since the tour's postseason format debuted in 2007.

During his tie for 42nd at the PGA Championship last week in St. Louis, Snedeker says he "kind of found something" when he simplified some swing fundamentals and began to feel better about that part of his game.

Then, he spent the first round showing it off.

Snedeker, who began his round on the back nine, reeled off four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16. He then got even hotter on his final nine holes, with six birdies in addition to the shot of the day on No. 6. But he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 8 that would have made a 58 possible.

"Could have been even more special," he said, "but happy with the way everything turned out."

The start of the high school football season is upon us once again, and once again the highlight of the weekend is the 6th annual “Rumble on the River” between McCracken County and Paducah Tilghman.

The McCracken County Mustangs come into the rivalry matchup having won two in a row over their crosstown rivals and three of the first give games of the series. The way the Mustangs have won them, however, have varied wildly.

Two years ago, mother nature’s heavy rains pushed the annual rivalry to a from a Saturday night to a Sunday afternoon contest at Paducah Tilghman. The Mustangs scored early and often, jumping out to a 42-0 halftime lead over the Blue Tornado. The Mustangs would play their junior varsity squad the entire 2nd half and coast on to a 42-6 win.

Rewind to last season, Paducah Tilghman was the team to jump out early, as the Blue Tornado scored on their 3rd play from scrimmage to jump out to the 6-0 lead. Fast forward to the 2nd half, Paducah Tilghman led 13-0 when the Mustangs mounted a large comeback, scoring 13 consecutive points of their own and forcing overtime.

In overtime, the Mustangs scored first to give McCracken County a 20-13 lead. Paducah Tilghman would respond with a touchdown of their own, but a botched extra point opportunity would end the game and give the Mustangs the dramatic 20-19 win over Tilghman.
The rivalry has featured a new head coach in the previous five meetings. This year, it looked like both schools had returning coaches, but Paducah Tilghman coach Steve Duncan suffered a mild stroke in late July and resigned the following week as a result of it. Paducah Tilghman hired offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith as their interim head coach, becoming Tilghman’s fifth head coach in six seasons.

McCracken County head coach Marc Clark had the ultimate respect for Paducah Tilghman in an interview on his weekly coaches show on 99.5FM The Fan Wednesday night. “First off, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Coach Steve Duncan and the Tilghman family as he recovers,” said Clark. “But Coach Smith is a really good coach and he has a lot of players returning that will make them a very talented team this season.”

Paducah Tilghman’s offense last season was very run heavy; rushing for 3,300 yards while only passing for 487 yards all season. This season’s edition for the Tornado looks to have the same philosophy. Tilghman’s top returning offensive player is senior running back Kel Askew. Askew rushed for 925 yards and 10 touchdowns last season on 120 rushing attempts for the Tornado last season.

McCracken County comes into the matchup with a lot more of an understanding of their team identity than a season ago, even after graduating 26 seniors last season. “It’s a lot different coming into the Tilghman game this season than last season,” Clark said on his weekly coaches show Wednesday night. “Our players now know what to expect from our staff and we’ve had a great summer getting ready for this season.”

McCracken County coach Marc Clark enters his 2nd season with the Mustangs, and he enters the 2018 season knowing who his quarterback will be; junior Elijah Wheat. Wheat won the quarterback job halfway through the 2017 season and ended up passing for 1,772 yards and 18 touchdowns in his sophomore season.

The top rusher for McCracken County in 2017 was senior TaeShawn Allen. Allen rushed for 1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns in his senior campaign and provided 62% of the Mustangs rushing game. The Mustangs will turn to junior Franklin Hayes to carry a majority of the ground game in 2018. Hayes, known for his quickness and breakaway speed, rushed for 238 yards on 53 carries and five touchdowns in 2017, while also landing 387 receiving yards and a touchdown in his sophomore season.

The 6th annual Rumble on the River kicks off Saturday at 7pm at Paducah Tilghman’s McRight Field. If you can’t make it to the game, you can listen live on 99.5FM The Fan with Eric Chumbler, Jared Adams, Clint Conway, and Jimmie Garrett.

Murray at Graves County – The 2017 season for the Graves County Eagles wasn’t bad at all, grabbing six wins against a difficult schedule before bowing out in the first round to a highly talented South Warren team, 38-12. But the Eagles were oh-so-close to being 9-2 instead of 6-5.

Graves County gave arch-rival Mayfield quite the challenge in mid-September last season. Trailing 38-31 late, the Eagles were driving when a turnover went against the Eagles and solidified the win for the Cardinals. Fast forward to a week later when Graves County dropped a heartbreaker to Apollo, 38-35. Then two weeks later, the Eagles dropped a highly controversial contest in overtime to Christian County, 21-14, before ending in a postgame melee between the two schools.

The highlight for Graves County in 2018 is senior quarterback Ryan Mathis, who passed for just under 1700 yards in 2017 with 17 touchdowns. However, the Eagles will be looking to replace Mathis’ top receiver, Trevor Grant, who caught 1,272 yards of Mathis’ 1,700 passing yards.

The Eagles are also looking to replace running back Gabe Harned. Senior Chase Whitis looks to receive a majority of the rushing load this season. Whitis rushed for 490 yards and five touchdowns in 2017.

Caldwell County at Christian County – One of the more entertaining matchups of the opening week the last five seasons has been the matchup between Caldwell County and Christian County.

To prove my point on entertainment value, Caldwell County gave up 57 points to Christian County four years ago and won…by three touchdowns. That’s right. Caldwell County knocked off Christian County 78-57 in 2014. Since then, the Colonels have won three straight over the Tigers.

The Tigers return quite a bit from their 2017 squad, including senior quarterback Joby Jaggers. Jaggers tossed 2,422 yards and 28 touchdowns in his junior season. Jaggers’ top dual threat receiver and tailback also returns in Jameer Riley, who rushed for 716 yards while bringing in 417 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 2017.

Friday Night's Games

Hopkinsville vs. South Warren
Trigg County vs. Monroe County
Caldwell County vs. Christian County
Stewart County, TN at Crittenden County
Fulton County at Gleason, TN
Murray at Graves County
Fulton City at Greenfield, TN
Fort Campbell at Marshall County
Union City, TN at Mayfield
Ballard Memorial at South Fulton, TN
Hopkins County Central at Webster County

Saturday Night's Games
McCracken County at Paducah Tilghman
Austin Gomber learned plenty about pressure during a 15-game stint in the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen earlier this season.

The left-hander used that experience to his advantage on Wednesday night.

Gomber tossed six shutout innings in his fourth start of the year, Marcell Ozuna homered and the Cardinals won their season-high eighth straight game, 4-2 over the Washington Nationals.

The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Gomber gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four. He wriggled out of a pair of jams while nursing a 1-0 lead.

"I think being in the bullpen kind of helped me in these situations," Gomber said. "Even when the bases get loaded, I never feel any panic. It's just something that you've got to become more comfortable with."

Gomber ended his 99-pitch outing by striking out three successive batters after giving up a leadoff double to Bryce Harper in the sixth.

"This guy gets after it," St. Louis interim manager Mike Shildt said. "He's not going to back down from anyone."

Gomber (3-0) struck out Michael A. Taylor looking with the bases loaded to end the fourth. He retired Anthony Rendon on a flyball with runners on first and third in the fifth.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

"When you're in a playoff race, we've got to score first, we've got to score early," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "We can't squander the opportunities that we get and we've been doing that."

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30, covering 62 plate appearances.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by Shildt on July 15.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities,

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Carpenter does not expect to miss any time.

"The pain and swelling started to go down a bit," Carpenter said. "I definitely dodged a bullet there."

Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after he fell on his wrist on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Hellickson realizes the Nationals' chances of making the postseason are dwindling.

"We're going to need a lot of help, that's for sure," Hellickson said. "We've made it pretty tough on ourselves here."

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Harper in the fourth. Bader scampered home on a wild pitch in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.

"We've known all year that we're capable of playing this type of baseball," Bader said. "It's nice to see it come out in between the white lines. Everything's rolling together and we're just going to try and preserve it the best we can."

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild-card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (pinched nerve in neck) threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return from the disabled list early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the DL on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decisions. Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.